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The Great Wall
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The Great Wall

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Starring global superstar Matt Damon and directed by one of the most breathtaking visual stylists of our time, Zhang Yimou (Hero, House of Flying Daggers), Legendary's The Great Wall tells the story of an elite force making a valiant stand for humanity on the world's most iconic structure. The first English-language production for Yimou is the largest film ever shot entirely in China. The Great Wall also stars Jing Tian, Pedro Pascal, Willem Dafoe and Andy Lau.
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CREATORS OF "The Great Wall"
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HEROES OF "The Great Wall"
The Great Wall
CRITICS OF "The Great Wall"
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David Keyes
Resource

March 13, 2017

Special effects gurus are tasked with the rescue of a plot that is set adrift with moronic simplicity.
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Jon Espino
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February 27, 2017

The film feels so far removed from the Zhang I have grown up respecting that it feels like it is less his film and more the product of heavy Hollywood studio influencing.
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Matthew Toomey
Resource

March 04, 2017

The real stars of this film are the Chinese actors. 28-year-old Jing Tian is wonderful as a female leader within the Order who commands a strong presence.
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Walter Chaw
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March 28, 2017

Gloriously, fantastically stupid from beginning to end, Fifth Generation legend Zhang Yimou's The Great Wall is also, you know, not terrible on the grand scale of terrible things.
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Rick Kisonak
Resource

February 23, 2017

Ultimately, a handful of eye-popping Yimou flourishes can't compensate for filmmaking so line-toeing and occasionally cartoonish that it makes the idea of a wall between Hollywood and Chinese interests actually sound kinda great.
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Alison Willmore
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February 17, 2017

To watch it is to be aware of how little movies this size have to do with art and how much they are product, the result of a calculation involving actorly appeal and spectacle, because spectacle, not story, has the... most universal draw.
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Rain Jokinen
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March 23, 2017

The Great Wall is not a groundbreaking film by any means, but at least it's fun
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Sean Burns
Resource

March 01, 2017

A splashy, old-fashioned monster movie stupid enough to amuse audiences from any culture that enjoys watching folks fight giant lizards.
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Peter Travers
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February 17, 2017

What a bummer that all Chinese master Zhang Yimou and Hollywood star Matt Damon come up with is a B-level creature feature with delusions of grandeur.
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John Serba
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March 09, 2017

As ambitious as it is flat.
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Craig Mathieson
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February 24, 2017

Zhang is more interested in ceremonies than combat sequences. Ranks of soldiers in exotic uniforms march into position atop battlements, while both feast and funeral are played out as spectacles.
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James Berardinelli
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February 19, 2017

If this is the future for motion pictures, god help us all.
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Bilge Ebiri
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February 17, 2017

As pure spectacle, The Great Wall is absolutely dazzling.
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Alex Lines
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March 01, 2017

With such a big canvas to lay such cliched material upon, The Great Wall really does feel like placing a Big Mac upon gold plated silverware.
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Amy Glynn
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February 23, 2017

In other words, it's another tedious special-effects-fest that has flimsy wisps of completely pat and predictable story blowing around interminable swaths of stuff that would 100% kill people but doesn't, and none of the characters are that interesting.
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Alison Willmore
Resource

February 17, 2017

To watch it is to be aware of how little movies this size have to do with art and how much they are product, the result of a calculation involving actorly appeal and spectacle, because spectacle, not story, has the... most universal draw.
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Alex Doenau
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February 23, 2017

It's too late to call The Great Wall an expensive failure, but it's not likely to leave many satisfied viewers in its wake.
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J. R. Jones
Resource

February 23, 2017

Its epic imagery - the rows of soldiers, the rain of spears, the surging forces - is undercut by the Saturday-matinee cheesiness of the concept.
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Jay Horton
Resource

February 23, 2017

[At first,] we learn the Great Wall of China was originally erected to protect the Chinese from marauding forces embodying the depths of human greed. Shortly afterward, we realize The Great Wall was made for precisely opposite reasons.
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James Berardinelli
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February 19, 2017

If this is the future for motion pictures, god help us all.
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Alistair Harkness
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February 23, 2017

A fairly goofy monster movie that manages to seem bloated even with a running time of less than 90 minutes.
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Anthony Morris
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February 23, 2017

Everything is competent, but rarely impressive.
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Amy Nicholson
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February 17, 2017

Damon's wild-haired gringo claims to have soldiered under "many flags," which would explain his shape-shifting accent that's Irish except for when it sounds beamed from Mars.
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David Nusair
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April 07, 2017

The Great Wall's unevenness is never more apparent than in its proliferation of less-than-engrossing subplots...
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David Keyes
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March 13, 2017

Special effects gurus are tasked with the rescue of a plot that is set adrift with moronic simplicity.
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John Serba
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March 09, 2017

As ambitious as it is flat.
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Christopher Orr
Resource

March 27, 2017

Zhang's moments of visual splendor-a battalion of hot-air balloonists, the queen-monster and her royal guard of fan-frilled monstrosities-are weighed down by a script and performances almost dutiful in their dullness.
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Armond White
Resource

March 01, 2017

In these days when so-called resistance, from D.C. to the streets, uses dishonorable methods, The Great Wall offers a conscientious reminder of artistic principle, the respite of an aesthetically powerful comic book.
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John Beifuss
Resource

February 28, 2017

Zhang's enviable eye for color and composition is somewhat occluded by the gargantuan scale; still, he finds beauty in the chaos (a climactic interior action sequence is splashed with rainbow beams from stained-glass windows).
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J. R. Jones
Resource

February 23, 2017

Its epic imagery - the rows of soldiers, the rain of spears, the surging forces - is undercut by the Saturday-matinee cheesiness of the concept.
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Jim Lane
Resource

March 02, 2017

Director Zhang Yimou, the darling of art-house cinemas the world over, tries his hand at a fantasy adventure epic and achieves only low camp, albeit with his customary eye for brilliant color and striking tableaux.
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Kaori Shoji
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April 12, 2017

The battle scenes are spectacularly choreographed, and the narrative hinges on a Westerner who shifts his own perspective from being self-centred to self-sacrificing.
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Damien Straker
Resource

February 27, 2017

This should have been a much richer or at least exciting adventure.
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Peter Travers
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February 17, 2017

What a bummer that all Chinese master Zhang Yimou and Hollywood star Matt Damon come up with is a B-level creature feature with delusions of grandeur.
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Amy Nicholson
Resource

February 17, 2017

Damon's wild-haired gringo claims to have soldiered under "many flags," which would explain his shape-shifting accent that's Irish except for when it sounds beamed from Mars.
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Eric D. Snider
Resource

February 23, 2017

Zhang is all about the spectacle.... He delivers this with gusto, unconcerned with whether the finer points of the narrative make sense.
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